Thessaloniki‘s Anatolia College announced recently that it will turn four underground rooms on its premises which were used as Nazi shelters during WWII into a digital space to host history workshops.
The shelter was built on Macedonia Hill in Pylea, Thessaloniki, and is part of the campus of the college.
The German occupying forces requisitioned the entire premises of Anatolia College between 1941 and 1944, making it into the German Army’s Balkan headquarters.
The area then included the adjacent land — presently the Agios Dimitrios Children’s Health Center — and the very spot where General Georgios Tsolakoglou signed the capitulation and surrender agreement of the Greek Army to Wehrmacht forces on April 20, 1941.
Some of the subterranean rooms were used as a bomb shelter and others were turned into storehouses for classified documents as well as confiscated valuables taken from the residents of the Thessaloniki area.
Panos Vlachos, the president of Anatolia College, has said that the project of transforming the shelter into a place for student history workshops aims to “bridge the time gap and bring history to new generations.”
The key idea behind the project is the management of collective memory and the intake of history by the younger generations, who are distanced, temporally and emotionally, from major historic events, Vlachos explained.
He made his remarks during a recent conference titled ”Filling the Void: Studying and Transferring History to a New Generation,” organized by Anatolia College and the German Consulate in Thessaloniki, held at the Bissell Library of the American College of Thessaloniki.
The American College of Thessaloniki is one of the largest private centers of learning in Southeast Europe, and is itself a division of Anatolia College.
With information from AMNA